Clever uses for citrus peel

Citrus peel is good for so much more than just garnish!

Instead of composting your peels, try one of these clever uses instead.

Fire starter

Dried citrus peels make a great fire starter. To dry them, put in an oven on very low heat or let dry out by sitting on the counter for a few days.

Bin freshener

A few citrus peels at the bottom of your bin can help eliminate and absorb unwanted smells.

Natural cleaning solution

Many people are turning to natural cleaning solutions instead of chemical cleaners. A simple solution of vinegar and water is very effective; adding citrus peel to the mixture will help give it a natural, fresh scent!

Diffuse a gentle scent

You can mimic the effect of an essential oil diffuser by gently simmering some lemon peel in water on your stovetop.

Freshen your wardrobe

Dried citrus peels can be used to freshen your wardrobe, cupboards and drawers. Stuff a handful of dried citrus peel into an old stocking or sachet and place wherever you want a light, fresh scent.

Microwave cleaner

Place citrus peel and water in a microwave-safe bowl and zap for five minutes. Afterwards, any built-up gunk should wipe away easily.

Deter ants

Rub citrus peel along the windowsill where ants are entering – they don’t like the scent of citrus and will naturally stay away.

Soften brown sugar

A piece of citrus rind placed into a container or jar of brown sugar will help keep it from going hard.

Deter cats

Cats also hate the scent of citrus peel – if a neighbouring cat regularly wanders into your garden, citrus peels placed around your garden or shrubbery will help keep them away.

Lemon peel powder 

This tip comes from Helen Robson and is simple to make and so many uses.

Dried lemon peel powder may be used for –
1) Whenever a recipe calls for lemon peel or lemon zest.
2) Add to salad dressings, olive oil, Apple Cider vinegar, smoothies, yoghurt, desserts or sprinkle over a salad.
3) Drop into cool iced water to make a refreshing summer drink
4) Add to tea for a fresh lemon tea
5) Add to pepper to make your own lemon pepper for fish or
savoury dishes
6) Sprinkle over fish or meat when cooking
7) Add to Salsa, Guacamole, Hummus or when sauteeing vegetable

Dried lemon powder can also be used as a substitute for lemon juice in any recipe (1tsp is equivalent to 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest)
Sprinkle powder over avocado toast with salt and pepper.


Wash the lemon & pat dry.
Cut in half and squeeze out the juice.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin leaving the white pith
Allow the skin to dry out completely. This can be done in a low heat oven on a baking tray for several hours, using a dehydrator, or in the sunshine (the latter will take about 36 hours)
Once completely dried, the peel should be crispy and snap easily. Place in a blender/grinder to make a powder.
Store in a cool dry place away from sunlight. Helen stores hers in a glass jar in the fridge.

Do you know any clever use for citrus peels? Share your wisdom in the comments below!   


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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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toi toi
2nd Jul 2020
Thanks for voting!
Cleans kettles! Just drop used halved lemons, or lemon pieces into the kettle, fill kettle and boil. Leave standing overnight, empty next morning and boil fresh water. Works a treat!
2nd Jul 2020
Thanks for voting!
Citrus peel, both lemon and orange, even clementines, are a good substitute for expensive and hard candied peel. Simmer the finely pared peel in a little water until it is soft, drain, and allow to cool. chop into fine pieces, or whazz it through a food processor, and freeze until needed. It defrosts very quickly and is lovely in lemon drizzle cake or home made mincemeat.
2nd Jul 2020
Thanks for voting!
Half a lemon dipped in salt makes a good cleaner for copper. I have a large copper tray, once I think it is clean enough I wash it in warm water and washing up liquid. Dry with kitchen paper.

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